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Double Your Computer and Double Your Productivity
Jeffrey P. Fisher
If you're reading this, you probably have a computer. And if you're
like most musician, that computer is a major component of your life. You use it for e-mail, Web surfing, composing, recording, and otherwise managing your music career.
If you're like me, that computer is also a little production factory --
burning CDs (and DVDs), printing labels, booklets, and promotional
material, and generally helping you get done what needs to happen. In short, your computer helps you do more in less time.
Have you ever thought about having more computers? Well, I did,
and at first I felt it was rather decadent to have more than one
gracing my office. Instead, expanding my computing power turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. Investing in a second computer has increased my productivity dramatically.
The second powerful computer serves as my central production workhorse. I use it for composing, music and sound recording, mastering, video editing, and CD and DVD production. It only has
the software needed for those tas
ks with everything else happily jettisoned. This computer isn't even connected to the Net. Meanwhile, I've relegated my original computer to Internet duties, Web site maintenance, writing, bookkeeping, and a few other chores.
In the past, when rendering a video project, burning a CD, or downloading a file, I could do little else. This scenario was a real time-waster. Now I can be working at one computer while the other chugs away in the background. Typically, I might work on a music project on one and burn DVDs/CDs on the other. If one computer is tied up rendering, I can still get my e-mail and surf the Web using the other.
Another benefit to the dedicated production computer is you can optimize it for the work you do. I've tweaked my box so that the programs I use (Acid, Sound Forge, Vegas, and Reason) run very well. I suffer fewer crashes and virtually no data loss. It's a treat to be creative knowing I won't be distracted by computer problems.
From a financial standpoint, the extra expense was quickly recouped. Before I spent a dime, I tallied my hours wasted waiting for my single computer to finish what I'd assigned. I multiplied those hours by my hourly rate and realized that in about a month, I'd get enough additional work done to justify the new purchase.
So, if you're looking for a sure-fire way to get more out of your creative career, considering adding to your staff by hiring a computer to take some of the burden away from you.